For those of you competitive types…this post is for you.  And me.  A few weeks ago, my race boss, Rod Hall, generously entered me into the XO 250 off-road race.  It was an amazing course, definitely the steepest, hairiest track I have ever raced on.  And boy was it beautiful!  Like Rod always says, we compete on the most beautiful race courses in the world.  I went into the race completely exhausted and overworked but I am always up for driving our awesome little blue race truck.

I was honored that Damien Michelin would fly out to join me for at least a few laps of the 63-mile course.  The day before the race, we pre-ran in Damien’s pre-runner.  It was a strange day…The truck’s suspension was in serious need of a good tune along with a disabling of the ABS.  But more strangely was that the race course was a work in progress but we thought we were running the whole course.  But due to landowner issues, the track was literally changing by the hour and we didn’t have the correct course until we drove to the starting line and the GPS data was inputed into our Lowrance.  Shockingly, the course took a turn around RM40 and the track literally turned into long stretches of straight up, followed by straight down – vertically speaking.  There were hills where the strategy for the trucks literally consisted of – get a running start, pin it to the floor and pray.

So what does “what is two seconds?” mean?  Well, after repairing a flat tire with no impact gun, losing the brakes for 60+ miles on those crazy hills, but having an amazing run overall, we came across the line and declared the Class 7 winner!  Wow…that felt good! Arturo met us at the finish line with toast of Los Valientes Tequila (yes, I am a fan of agave!) which we were happy to toast the last 8 hours of driving with friends and teammates.  But something was nagging at me.  I wondered where the Jeep Speed car of Mike Shaffer finished.  I had no idea that any pro category car could go to qualifying as I had never competed in a VORRA race.  In other series’, only the unlimited cars qualify.  I happened upon the qualifying while pre-running and was surprised at how fast he ran.  But I forgot about it until 18 hours later….. That was about the time of the awards and it turned out that I had  lost the win by 2 SECONDS…2 SECONDS in an 8 hour race.  There are 28,800 seconds in 8 hours!  Well, I guess my question about that Jeep Speed car was answered.

When you lose by minutes, you get it – you understand.  When you lose by 2 seconds it messes with your head in so many ways.  You think of a million things that factored in to those two tiny yet massive seconds….And trust me, I think about them.  But I think 2 seconds drove lessons home harder than 2 minutes would have ever done.  I’m going to hold on to those lessons and remember them forever…And hope that in Morocco…it isn’t .2KM.  Gazelles, you know what I mean.